It seems as though every generation has it’s teen sitcom. Whether it’s Dawson’s Creek, One Tree Hill, Saved by the Bell, Friends, or something else, everyone has a show that they grew up with. You measure the status and importance of your relationships with the opposite sex, gauged on what you’ve seen on TV. There’s these larger than life men, that always come sweeping in with grand gestures and romantic one liners that make your heart hurt just a little bit. It hurts because we know most men really aren’t like that. That the cheesy one liners never really happen in real life, and we remind ourselves that it’s not real. Until it is.
When I complain about how horrible men are sometimes, I only remember the bad. I only remember how many time I’ve been let down, hurt, or disappointed by someone else’s actions that really have nothing to do with me. It’s not very often that the fleeting great moments I’ve had come to the top of my mind. But when they do, all I can do is smile.
I was 19, and I’d just moved to Wilmington, NC. I’d already made my way through one boyfriend who turned out only to be a two weeker. And I was possibly moving on to my second. This guy was sweet. And gentle. And kind. And for the first time, I didn’t feel pressure to really do anything I didn’t want to do, which was nice. It was probably a Sunday– I say that because I remember I had school the next day—and we were both bored, with nothing to do. We hadn’t kissed yet, and were still in the friends stage of things, which really isn’t always a bad place to be. Everything is fun in the friends stage, no drama, no hurt feelings, just fun flirting. But back to the story. It was a Sunday and I was bored, and we both decided we wanted to do something fun. I had told him how someday I want to go to Myrtle Beach, just to see it. Everyone made such hype about it, yet it was only 45 minutes away from where I currently was. So he suggested that we just go. Hop in the car, drive down, check it out, and come home. Even though it was only a short drive away, it was still across a state line. And I’d never driven myself across a state line before, and weirdly enough it was that that made me nervous. Not any other part of it. Just the driving across the state line.
Just the same I agreed to go, if he drove. He said he didn’t mind. And we were off. I don’t remember what we talked about when we were in the car. I remember we go to Myrtle Beach though and trying to find some place to hangout, if even just for a bit. Somehow I got into a Senor Frogs, and I didn’t want to even try to drink at all because I didn’t want to chance getting kicked out of a bar in a state I didn’t even live in. But I stood with him at the bar and saw they had Mecheladas on the menu. I hadn’t seen or heard anything about that particular drink, since I lived in Mexico. It’s a beer with lime juice, and chili powder, amazing perfection. So I went to sit down so he could order, and he came back with two Mecheladas. One for him, one for me. I was so excited to be drinking it. I thanked him profusely. And I was even more excited when I actually drank it. I can’t remember exactly what he said. But it was something along the lines of “anything that can make you smile like that is worth it”. Now mind you, I was only 19, and didn’t truly know how to appreciate a line like that. But I swear that’s how it happened.
On the way home, I told him about how much I hated thunder and lightning storms. They just kinda freaked me out, I don’t know why that came up. We were probably just rambling off random facts about ourselves. We covered every subject. There was not a single pause in the conversation the whole way home. We didn’t get home till about 2 am, and I had class at nine. I told him goodnight, when he dropped me off outside my apartment, and thanked him for just a fun night.
I went into my little apartment, changed out of my clothes, slipped into bed, and shut off the lights. What a perfect night. I fell asleep in no time. Only to be woken up three hours later by the clap of thunder and flashes of lightening. I sat up in bed, waiting for the next sound. Another clap. The storm was close. With my hatred of storms, I crawled out of bed and went into my living room, to flip on the TV to see what the weather man had to say about this storm. Growing up as a kid, if the weather was bad enough, there was always people on the TV talking about it. Yet there was nothing. This was the south though, things could be different. I went back to my bedroom, sitting on my bed. Thinking to myself that I’m an adult, I really shouldn’t be this freaked out by something that can’t actually hurt me. I glanced over at my clock, it was 5:15, at the time I didn’t have friends, or even know people who were up at that hour. It was just me, afraid, in bed, during the middle of a storm.
That was when I heard my phone buzz. Someone was calling. I looked down, it was the guy. I picked up the phone. He laughed and said he knew I’d be awake because of the storm, and he called to make sure I was ok. I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. How is anyone really this sweet? We talked for the next 45 minutes until the storm passed and I was ready to go back to sleep. Then for the second time that night he wished me good night.
I woke up three hours later to get ready for class. I was tired, crabby, and mildly regretting my last minute late night trip so late at night. The boy texted me a good morning, and asked me what I like to drink. I wasn’t sure what he meant. I mean such two statements are usually said at opposite ends of the day. Morning: Good morning. Night: What are you drinking? He told me he was stopping by a coffee place and asked me what I wanted. I was touched again. I told him my drink order, hoping that he wouldn’t be too late, as I was already on the verge of being late for class. He showed up five minutes before I needed to leave and said “if you’re going to stay up that late, and still make it to class, you deserve this” and handed me my vice of caffeine in a cup.
Once upon a time, in one night, I had three very sweet, pseudo cheesy moments, with one guy. And when my bitter cynicism gets the best of me (more often than not), I think back on those moments and am thankful that there’s hopefully still some good, even in all the bad.